This report reveals that in the last three months before the election campaign period started, six of the 10 candidates for president had racked up advertising values on television, radio and print media worth a whopping P2.1 billion!
Minus the discounts and commissions that network executives and PRs say reach about 50 percent, the indicative ad spending by these six candidates alone would still amount to a staggering P991 million, from Nov. 1, 200 to Jan. 30, 2010.
Even more interesting, five of the six presidential candidates had by now exceeded the limit on TV airtime minutes, if these pre-campaign ads were measured against the Fair Election Practices Act or Republic act No. 9006.
Yet, of course, this virtual overspending and breach of airtime limits will, for now not put any of the candidates under penalty of the law. These political ads will, for now, be consigned as willful spending on advocacy ads by the candidates, because the campaign period officially began only last February 9.
As well, in a recent ruling, the Supreme Court stated that, the effective date when partisan political acts become unlawful as to a candidate is when the campaign period starts. Before the start of the campaign period, the same partisan political acts are lawful.
This story reviewed the AGB Nielsen Media Research ad spending database.